Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tiring Tuesdays

I can't even wrap my mind around yesterday, and it's even more perplexing when I realize that's going to be my Tuesday for many more Tuesdays to come. It started at 6:30 when my alarm went off. Tuesday is one of my two days off from subbing because I volunteer in my friend's classroom that day. She has a second grade class in an eastside school (read: urban, for those of you not in G-ville) and is a first year teacher. I miss being in the classroom, she loves help, so we put those two things together to come up with a little volunteer opportunity for me. I sit with her kids during their reading block and either keep them on task, have them read to me, play a spelling game, or just sharpen a pencil if they need it. It's nothing spectacular, but it's a fun time.

After leaving Kristan's classroom, I drove over to UF where I found a primo parking space. In the whole COE neighborhood, there are only 3 parking spaces that you can park in sans permit, and they are my favorite thing to find. If I don't get one I have to park in the bank and run the risk of getting towed (or at least a nasty note) or a ticket if I park in the city spots that require a neighborhood decal. I digress. I tutored a woman in the differences among "should" "ought to" "have to" "have got to" and must". Then we talked a little bit about vowel pronunciation, long and short vowels, and the silent E at the end that tells you which to use. She was a little bit stymied that a single silent letter could not only change the way another letter sounded, but the meaning of the whole word. Crazy English. I know it's a grammar class, but she was asking for help with her pronunciation. There were two guys waiting behind her who kept making comments like, I want to speak English, I don't care about sounds, I want to know grammar! So I finished up with the lady and moved on to the men, only to find out that they only wanted help memorizing a list of odd verb phrases. I helped them understand a couple of them ("break up" laughing and "break up" a relationship, as well as "come from" as in originate from, and that originate is NOT the same word as origami. I made an origami flower thing just to show them what it was) Memorizing isn't my job, sorry guys.

I then sat as a classroom assistant in the beginning beginning level grammar class and helped a guy go over his test that he'd gotten a D on. It's hard because he doesn't even understand the word "understand"... explaining grammar is ridiculous when the person can't even communicate verbally. I have SO much respect for language teachers. Not. Even. Funny.

At 12:40 I got to swing home to make some lunch and gather anything I'd need for the rest of the day. I made a hot dog with crumbled bacon and banana peppers. Um, wow. Sorry to offend any vegetarian friends, but it was mouth watering. I keep saying I'm going to open a restaurant some day, and I kind of keep a running list of delicious things I make to put on the menu, that hotdog would most certainly be on there. At about 2:00 I headed out to vote in the mid-term elections. I figured it wouldn't take long, but I hadn't researched all of the amendments before-hand, so I had to sit and read them several times to just figure out what they were saying. Then I tried to quickly decide how I felt about them. Not the most scientific way to participate in the American experiment, but I put my two cents in, where ever it may have ended up.

I made it to my first tutoring gig at 2:30 and sat down with two kids (huh? I was told there would be one) They're both pretty cool, I sent an email from my phone real quick asking about it, a little bit excited because it means $42 an hour instead of $35 an hour, since there's 2! Drat, email comes back saying the sister has a different tutor and can I give the mom the contact info. Wait! The mom says she only wants one tutor for both of them because why schedule two sessions a week when they can just be together. I give her the contact info for the office and tell her I'd be happy to do it, but that I need to get the materials and curriculum from the office if they're ok with it.

At 4:30 I made it to tutoring gig #2 and sat with a boy to work on fun things such as synonyms and analogies and features of print. The parents were in the same room the whole time watching Oprah incredibly loudly, talking on the phone about the election, and coughing. I think they were both quite ill. I left at 6:00 and went to Starbucks to get a non-fat caramel macchiato because I still had a meeting, a dance class, and a photography session ahead of me.

At 6:30 I walked into the International Center to attend a Peace Corps Globe Talk put on by UF. There were about 15-20 people there, including some that I SWEAR looked familiar, but I had no idea where from, so I just stared at them instead of making an introduction. Fail. Five panelists talked. Four being RPCVs and the last being a guy from Benin who came to the US to study civil engineering after being taught math and physics by a PCV in his village. I seriously got tears in my eyes listening to him, hoping to someday have that kind of impact on one of my students. That's why I got into teaching in the first place, to have an impact on individuals, to show them their potential in the world, and to help them find the tools to realize their dreams. After it was over I stood around and grabbed some booklets, specifically one on health education for a friend who I think would be amazing at it, two for friends and family on keeping in touch and questions they might have, and one on education, just because it's my nomination and I like reading more about it. I chatted with the recruiter at UF and asked about the countries I might go to as well as what to expect from medical. She was surprised to meet me since I'm from UF but hadn't gone through her with my application and interview and everything. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have my hand held throughout the process, seeing as how I did it 100% on my own. It was really fantastic hearing someone else be excited for me in a way that's more than just "oh my god, that's so awesome that you're doing that! Where are you going?" I could tell that she pours her heart into sharing PC with people and getting others to join this organization that she had such a great experience with. She offered to put me on an email list to keep track of in-town events, invited me to a happy hour next week to meet people, and told me to let her know if I haven't heard anything from medical by December 1st. She asked what my theory-countries were, and told me that 3 of the 4 were good guesses, and that she has Gators everywhere I mentioned.

By 8:00 I was at my friend's house, jittery from the coffee, just in time to start pole class. I got a spin finally that has been frustrating me for at least the last two weeks, and generally farted around and snapped pictures of the girls when it was their turn to try something new. By 9:30 my hands and legs hurt and it was time to start taking pictures for real. I nailed up a truly sorry background and tried to adjust everything in my camera just so. I think I'm a much better street-candid photographer; there's just no pressure involved when you're shooting for yourself. I was incredibly nervous. We spent about an hour, Courtney posing in every imaginable contortionist pose, me scrambling around to keep the background from being too crappy. I made it home at about 11, just as I had predicted and then proceeded to go through the pictures and start to PP them. The macchiato was still coursing through my veins and I wasn't tired at all. Until 2 am. When it hit me. All of the sudden I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and I passed out. My dog woke me up at 3:30 to go out (because all of the sudden she can't hold it through the night.. ugh) but other than that I slept like a rock until ELEVEN.

Other than the PC meeting and the late night photo shoot, this is going to be my Tuesday until at least December. I hope I make it!


Kimberley Rose said...

Holy geez that is a crazy day..

Jessica said...

That sounds like a horribly long day! I did some SES tutoring for awhile in Gainesville, and I always dreaded those days lol. I am glad you got to go to the PC meeting though and enjoyed it!
P.S. Is the teacher's last name Smallwood?

elizabeth said...

Yea, the money is so good through SES but it's almost not worth it for the number of times I get stood up. And yes! That's her :)